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Bob Milligan vying to replace Jimmy Patronis on PSC

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Former state Comptroller Bob Milligan has applied for the now-empty seat on the Public Service Commission vacated when Jimmy Patronis stepped down to become the state’s new CFO.

Milligan’s name is among 18 applicants so far for the seat, which will be vetted by the Public Service Commission Nominating Council and appointed by Gov. Rick Scott.

The deadline to apply is Friday; a working list was released Thursday. The five-member commission regulates the state’s investor-owned utilities.

In a phone interview, Milligan said he’s only interested in serving out Patronis’ current term, which is up at the end of 2018.

Though he doesn’t have any utility experience, he said his background in finance and economics qualify him. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, he got an MBA from the University of Rochester and studied economics at the University of Maryland.

“I think I can jump in there easily and do what needs to be done, but I’m not interested in making a career of it,” the 84-year-old said.

Milligan, who lives in Tallahassee, served on the Cabinet as the state’s elected comptroller in the 1990s. The state’s Chief Financial Officer now handles the comptroller’s duties since that position was abolished.

He also served 39 years in the military, retiring from the Marines as a lieutenant general in 1991. His career “culminated as Commanding General of Fleet Marine Forces, Pacific, and Marine Corps Bases, Pacific … responsible for two-thirds of the operating forces of the Marine Corps,” his official bio says.

Since retiring from state government, he’s served on a number of boards, including those for Mission San Luis, a reconstructed 17th-century Spanish mission in Tallahassee, and until recently was vice chair of the Volunteer Florida Foundation.

He also volunteers for the Florida Veterans Foundation, he said.

“I always have an iron in the fire,” said Milligan, who added he hasn’t reached out to Scott or anyone in his office about the application.

“If they’re interested, fine; if not, that’s the way it goes,” he said.

Other notable names on Thursday’s list include former state Rep. Rich Glorioso, then a Plant City Republican and a retired U.S. Air Force colonel; current state Rep. Tom Goodson, a Brevard County Republican; and former PSC member and former state Rep. Kenneth Littlefield.


Background material by The Associated Press, reprinted with permission.

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Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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